Most guests to Wolfsburg, Germany, will see the improbable automobile museum on the Autostadt, however comparatively few will take the two-minute drive to one of many nation’s hidden gems, the Volkswagen AutoMuseum. From the skin, the Stiftung AutoMuseum Volkswagen could not appear to be a lot, particularly in comparison with the glitz and glamour of the Autostadt, however should you’re a die-hard Volkswagen fan, the museum is a must-see—and at €6 ($7) for admission, it’s ridiculously low-cost. Throughout a latest journey to Wolfsburg, Vehicle took a tour of the Volkswagen AutoMuseum. We are able to’t present you every little thing we noticed—and we wouldn’t need to spoil the surprises—however listed below are a few of the cooler autos you’ll discover there.
1943 Volkswagen Brezel Käfer
No shock that the museum has a decent-sized assortment of Beetles, that are often called Käfers in Germany. This 1943 Brezel Käfer—“Pretzel Beetle,” nicknamed for the form of its cut up rear window—is the oldest within the museum, and a uncommon instance of a wartime-era KdF-Wagen.
1949 Volkswagen Käfer Cabrio
This Karmann-built 1949 cabriolet is an early instance of the drop-top Volkswagen Beetle. Together with a handful of convertibles, the AutoMuseum has a number of lovely examples of coach-built vehicles based mostly on the Beetle platform.
1978 Volkswagen Kind 1—The Final German-Constructed Beetle
This was the final Volkswagen Beetle to be in-built Germany, rolling off the meeting line on January 19th, 1978. The AutoMuseum can be house to the 20 millionth Volkswagen Beetle, a limited-edition 1981 Silver Bug in-built Mexico.
1965 Volkswagen Kind 147
The Kind 147 Kleinlieferwagon (small van) was commissioned by the German postal service, although the Swiss put up workplace purchased some as properly. The 147 used the broader platform of the Kind 14 (Karmann-Ghia) with the powertrain from the Beetle. Different components had been sourced from the Kind 2 Transporter and Kind three Fastback. Volkswagen constructed 6,139 examples between 1964 and 1972. Although they had been vulnerable to rust, the AutoMuseum’s instance is in good form.
1963 Volkswagen EA128 Prototype
The AutoMuseum is house to a number of VW prototypes, most labeled EA for entwicklungsauftrag, which suggests improvement contract. The 1963 EA128 was Volkswagen’s imaginative and prescient for a big luxurious automobile. Its three-place entrance bench permits it to seat six, albeit considerably intimately. Six can be the cylinder depend—the EA128’s 2.zero liter air-cooled horizontally-opposed engine was borrowed from the Porsche 911, which additionally made its debut in 1963.
1955 Volkswagen EA47-12
All through the 1950s, Volkswagen was seeking to transfer away from the Beetle. The EA47-12 was the twelfth of 15 prototypes produced by Turin coachbuilder Ghia. This prototype featured a transverse-link entrance axle, torsion-bar rear suspension, and a fully-synchronized transmission. The AutoMuseum has EA47-12 displayed with its assortment of Karmann-Ghias, which might undertake most of the prototype’s design cues.
1961 Volkswagen 1500 Cabriolet Prototype
Volkswagen produced 16 hand-built prototypes of a Kind three cabriolet, and the AutoMuseum has one of many two survivors. The automobile was unveiled on the 1961 Frankfurt Auto Present however was by no means put into manufacturing. The folding convertible prime featured a glass rear window.
1949 Volkswagen T1 Prorotype
Maybe essentially the most well-known prototype within the AutoMuseum is the T1, prototype for the Kind 2 Transporter. Dutch Volkswagen importer Ben Pon is credited with the concept for, and first sketch of, a Volkswagen-based van, and that is the prototype that was revealed to the press on November 11th, 1949.
1978 Volkswagen Transporter Syncro Prototype
Volkswagen’s four-wheel-drive Vanagon Syncro is famous for each its obscurity and its unimaginable off-road capacity. 5 prototypes had been constructed from second-generation Transporters in 1978, and that is the one survivor—and if that wasn’t sufficient, it’s additionally a Westfalia camper. Volkswagen wouldn’t put the four-wheel-drive Transporter into manufacturing till the all-new T3 mannequin arrived in 1979.
Volkswagen Kind 2 Emergency Autos
The concept of counting on a Volkswagen van for emergency help appears a bit dicey (we’d be apprehensive about the home burning to the bottom earlier than the firefighters bought to the scene), however the custom-made ladder truck on the left actually did serve with the Wittengen hearth division from 1963 till the 1980s.
1973 Volkswagen Foundation-Transporter Prototype
That is the prototype for the Foundation-Transporter, a bare-bones utility automobile designed for creating markets. It used the Beetle powertrain, however the engine and transmission had been positioned underneath the cab and drove the entrance wheels. Volkswagen produced knock-down kits in Germany and constructed accomplished autos in Mexico between 1975 and 1979, however the design was not successful, and solely 6,200 had been constructed.
The AutoMuseum is house to a number of Volkswagen-based oddities together with this East German creation, the 1976 Rovomobil. Based mostly on a Volkswagen chassis, it has a fiberglass physique with a drag coefficient of simply zero.23, a formidable quantity even by immediately’s requirements. The Rovomobil was by no means put into manufacturing and solely two examples are recognized to exist. The AutoMuseum has the unique automobile in addition to the mould for the physique.
1997 Basket Beetle
What’s that? You say your life received’t be full till you see a Beetle Cabrio lined in wicker? Excellent news—the AutoMuseum has you lined! This wicker Beetle was constructed by German basketmaker Thomas Heinrich, and it’s parked with different Kind 1-based oddities, together with a wood Beetle, a Gazelle, and a Mexican wedding ceremony Beetle with a see-through physique constructed from wrought iron.
Volkswagen navy autos
The AutoMuseum doesn’t gloss over Volkswagen’s World Conflict II roots. The gathering contains an amphibious Kind 186 Shwimmwagen (left) and a Kind 82 Kübelwagon (proper). Between them is a Kind 87 Kommanderswagon, a four-wheel-drive model of the Beetle. Although most had been constructed through the warfare, the museum’s Kommanderswagon is certainly one of two assembled in 1946.
1973 Volkswagen 412
Even the unloved vehicles get a bit love on the AutoMuseum, which options this pristine instance of the 412 Variant, an up to date model of the Kind four (411) launched in 1972. The photograph was taken over the hood of the 1966 EA142, a prototype of the Kind four that was developed simply because the Kind three Fastback and Squareback had been occurring sale in the US.
Lest you suppose solely air-cooled Volkswagens are represented, there are additionally loads of trendy autos. Right here we see a neat line-up of the primary by fourth era Golfs, with GTIs parked simply past them.
1969 Volkswagen EA276
The EA276 of 1969 was an early prototype for what would finally develop into the Volkswagen Golf. This prototype presaged the final form and front-wheel-drive structure of the Golf, however its engine was the air-cooled boxer 4 from the Beetle. Volkswagen would later adapt the idea of a front-mounted air-cooled engine within the Brazilian-market Gol (yep, that’s the way it’s spelled) of 1980.
1978 Volkswagen Rabbit
The AutoMuseum has a US-spec 1978 Volkswagen Rabbit on show, in all its square-headlight and stick-on- wood-interior-trim glory.
Volkswagen do Brasil PS2 and Puma
Volkswagen of Brazil is sort of a world unto itself. Due to excessive import tariffs, Brazil is house to a number of home-grown Volkswagen fashions not offered (and barely seen) elsewhere on the earth. The white automobile is a Volkswagen SP2 (pronounced “Espeedios”), and it featured a 1.7 liter air-cooled Boxer out again. Subsequent to it’s its chief rival, the Puma GT, which used the 1500-cc drivetrain from the Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia.
One among VW’s extra common European fashions, nearly unknown within the States, is the subcompact Polo. The AutoMuseum has a number of pristine examples. That’s a first-generation 1976 Polo on the left and a 1981 second-gen automobile on the fitting. The Passat/Santana and Sirocco are additionally properly represented, and the museum is house to a number of of Volkswagen later-model prototypes and idea vehicles.
Visiting the Volkswagen AutoMuseum
The Volkswagen Automuseum (recognized in German because the Stiftung AutoMuseum) is positioned at Dieselstraβe 35 in Wolfsburg, inside strolling distance from the Autostadt. The museum is open Tuesday by Sunday from 10:00am till 5:00pm, and is closed between Christmas Eve and New Yr’s Day. Admission is €6 with reductions for households and teams. Group excursions price €40. A lot of the indicators are in German, however the guides converse English, so a tour is a sensible funding. For extra info, go to AutoMuseum.
The put up High Twenty Automobiles from the Volkswagen AutoMuseum appeared first on Vehicle Journal.